Intesa Sanpaolo Turns to Gemalto for Italy’s First Biometric Contactless Payment Card Pilot

Gemalto is supplying Intesa Sanpaolo, the leading banking group in ltaly, with the first Mastercard biometric contactless payment card.

The pilot promoted by Intesa Sanpaolo and Mastercard allows to test an EMV contactless biometric card for the first time in Europe. Consumers may simply tap their card to any POS terminal to pay and authorize the transaction with their fingerprint, combining a fast and convenient user experience to an advanced cardholder authentication

approach. In addition, the card works without a battery as it’s powered by the terminal which means that there is no limit on the number of transactions.

Enhanced contactless payment working with existing  infrastructure

Intesa Sanpaolo’s initiative is the latest step forward in the bank’s ambitious digital transformation strategy. Fingerprint authentication sweeps away limits on the value of contactless payments, removing the need to enter a PIN or sign the receipt, As a result, it simplifies the consumer experience at the point of sale and makes it faster and safer.

The card works with existing EMV card terminal infrastructure, so merchants can easily maximize the shopping experience delivered to their customers without the need to upgrade their current hardware or software. For issuers, the technology helps detect and prevent fraud, increase approval rates, reduce operational costs and foster customer loyalty.

Fully secure, on the spot fingerprint enrolment

Intesa Sanpaolo has 11.9 million customers and 4,400 branches in Italy. Gemalto’s solution includes secure onthe-spot fingerprint enrollment at selected locations and in the future customers could even enroll for the service at home. To ensure the right to privacy, biometric data is stored on the card itself, not the bank’s servers. Protection is further enhanced by the fact that personal data is encrypted and never leaves the card.

“We are proud to have undertaken the first step to introduce in Italy a card which technology offers the consumers clear and concrete benefits, following our choice to anticipate and facilitate the diffusion of innovative technologies functional to people’s everyday banking,” said Cinzia Bruzzone, Retail Manager Intesa Sanpaolo, “The Intesa Sanpaolo – Mastercard pilot project, achieved with Mercury Payment System support, avails itself of Gemalto’s contribution as a global operator, who provided the technology behind the new biometric cards and the tools necessary for storing the fingerprint on the chip.”

“Consumers are quickly recognizing the combined power of contactless and biometric technologies to take the stress and strain out of secure transactions,” said Bertrand Knopf, Executive Vice President Banking and Payment for Gemalto, “We are delighted to work with Intesa Sanpaolo and Mastercard on another pioneering project, this time bringing the effortless safety of a biometric sensor EMV card to their consumers.”

Intesa Sanpaolo’s initial pilot will run in Turin, Milan, and Rome and is scheduled to last 16 weeks.

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